Adaptogens are very clever little compound found in plants.
Like their name suggest they help the body to “adapt” to stress.
- They can support a wide range of different stressors: physical, biological, emotional and environmental by increasing our body‘s resistance
- They are innocuous: they are very safe to use and work without causing any added stress or harm to the body.
- Their action is normalizing: they are capable of either toning down or strengthening a system, adapting their action and bringing balance back to the body no matter what the direction of the imbalance. Smart!
In western medicine, scientists describe their action as influencing our stress response and regulating the HPA axis (= the delicate partnership between the central nervous system and the endocrine system). They are also used in Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese medicine, and by herbalists for similar healing properties.
Adaptogens work slowly and gently, contrasting the instantaneous gratification of the caffeine cycle, you must be patient because they work subtly but the benefits are undeniable and long-lasting.
While they all have a hormone-balancing quality to them they all have their own unique strengths as well.
Here are some of my favourite adaptogens:
Ashwagandha is a calming adaptogen. It has been shown to reduce anxiety by more than 40 percent, and works efficiently against depression and sleep issues. Ashwagandha has immuno-modulating effects that boost and regulate the immune system and lower cortisol levels. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to help boost the immune system after being sick. The ultimate cortisol balancer, this helps to support your brain-adrenal (HPA) axis and is powerful when it comes to thyroid support boosting sluggish thyroid hormones.
Having strong immune-boosting abilities, this herb has been used to help restore immune function for people with weakened immune systems from cancer treatments or chronic illnesses. It can also increase the amount of anti-stress compounds, preventing and repairing the stress-related damage. By reducing the ability of stress hormones like cortisol to bind to receptors, astragalus boosts immunity and shields the body from the effects of stress.In addition, it has powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties. Support IBS condition too.
Holy Basil (Tulsi)
Referred to as the “elixir of anti-ageing,” holy basil helps fight fatigue and stress, boosts the immune system, and regulates blood sugar, blood pressure, and hormone levels. Very efficient at reducing bloating and gas and it also works to increase cognitive function.
Rhodiola (Golden Root)
Contains the phytochemical salidroside which helps resist anxiety and ageing. Other benefits include suppression of the production of cortisol, increased levels of stress-resistant proteins, restoration of normal patterns of eating and sleeping after stress, resistance to mental and physical fatigue, and protection against oxidative stress, heat stress, radiation and toxic chemicals. Additional research has shown this adaptogen can protect the heart and liver, increase use of oxygen, improve memory and longevity, as well as aid in weight loss. If you are extra sensitive, be careful because it could potentially keep you up at night.
Used for preventing early ageing by counteracting s cortisol’s ageing effects. Schisandra is used to increase lifespan, increase resistance to disease, increase energy and physical performance, normalize blood sugar, and stimulate the immune system. A great liver and kidney support too.
Bring stress down with this cortisol Zen master! Also, support Gerd symptoms, heal leaky gut syndrome and most common digestive issue since it is both soothing and anti-inflammatory
Decreases the pro-inflammatory monoamine oxidase and lipid peroxidation activity that causes us to age. great hormone balancer to help increase energy and stamina. Increases antioxidants, but it decreases the pro-inflammatory monoamine oxidase and lipid peroxidation activity that causes us to age. For those struggling with adrenal fatigue, this is a great hormone balancer to help increase energy and stamina.